Federal Policy Priorities for Creating Affordable Homes and
Ending Homelessness in NJ

The Housing & Community Development Network of NJ will advocate the following short and long-term policy priorities.

Support the campaign for long-term affordable housing solutions: “HoUSed: Universal. Stable. Affordable.”

  • Universal Rental Assistance. Bridge the gap between incomes and housing costs by expanding rental assistance to every eligible household. Today, only one in four households eligible for rental assistance receives it.
  • Expand and preserve the supply of rental homes affordable and accessible to people with the lowest incomes. There is no state or congressional district in America with enough affordable homes for families with the lowest incomes. In NJ, over 70% of very low income families pay over half their income for a roof over head.
  • Permanent emergency rental assistance. Provide emergency rental assistance to households in crisis by creating a national housing stabilization fund. Millions of households are one financial shock away from economic hardship that could quickly spiral out of control.
  • Strengthen and enforce renter protections. The power imbalance between renters and landlords put renters at risk of housing instability and homelessness. Establish and fund a national right to counsel to help more renters stay in their homes and mitigate harm when eviction is unavoidable is one example of what needs to be done here.

Support intermediate solutions in any reconciliation bill: Any reconciliation bill must include the robust housing investments like the $150 billion investment in affordable homes that were in the U.S. House passed version of the “Build Back Better Act” including $25 billion to expand rental assistance to an additional for an additional 300,000 households; $65 billion to preserve public housing for the nation’s almost 2 million public housing residents; and $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to construct, preserve and operate over 150,000 affordable homes for households with the lowest incomes. If enacted, these provisions would be the largest single investment in our history in quality, affordable, accessible homes for the country’s lowest-income people.

Preserving and increasing resources for federal affordable housing programs in the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) FY22 Budget especially for those serving extremely low-income families:

  • Today, just one in four families eligible for federal housing assistance get the help they need. We need to increase funding in the FY22 budget for rental assistance and include the 125,000 vouchers that were in the House appropriations bill.
  • For decades, Congress has failed to provide adequate funding for public housing rehabilitation, repair, or simply maintain in good condition. Public housing funding for capital and operating costs should be increased.
  • With COVID, homelessness is increasing. We need to increase resources for the homeless by supporting $3.5 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program.
  • New affordable homes are critically needed. To do this, we will advocate to increase the HOME Investment Partnerships to at least $1.85 billion.
  • We are calling for an increase the FY2022 funding for housing counseling to at least the $100 million in the House bill.

To learn about the “HoUSed: Universal. Stable. Affordable” Campaign:
https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Campaign_1_pager.pdf

For more information, please contact Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Director at [email protected] or Matt Hersh, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at [email protected] Updated March 2022